University of Houston-Victoria student Claudia Long Acree helps students achieve their dreams through higher education as a member of the peer mentoring program G-Force.
“G-Force helps people transfer colleges or go from high school to college,” Acree said. “We help them get online and find out what documents they need, what tests they need to take, or help them fill out applications. I helped some people pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test and get their diploma so they could enroll in college.”
Acree joined the organization last summer to further her own occupational goals. She is an education major at UHV and is co-enrolled at The Victoria College. Acree also has been a substitute teacher for 15 years.
“I was looking for a job where I could work with young people and do something similar to what I was doing mentoring and teaching,” she said.
Acree said G-Force, which is part of the Letting Education Achieve Dreams (LEAD) office at UHV, is an important resource because many students are unaware of the opportunities available to allow them to further their education. This is something she’s experienced herself.
“If I hadn’t had somebody mentoring me, I would have stopped at VC. I wouldn’t have made it to UHV; I needed help,” Acree said.
She also knows motivation is crucial and says often she’s there to provide support when a student encounters an obstacle.
“Sometimes they just need somebody to motivate them if they hit a bump in the road,” Acree said. “They may not know the terminology or know to have their parent’s tax information for their financial aid forms. They come to these road blocks and give up. But when they have someone mentoring them, they realize it’s not that hard to do.”
Acree anticipates graduating in May. She would like to teach fourth grade or sixth-grade social studies. She is a member of the Gamma Beta Phi honors society and has been on the UHV Dean’s List for the last two semesters.
G-Force is funded by a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler or call 361-570-4350.